Over the past year I’ve been hard at work making an online worship leader training course for both beginner worship leaders as well as seasoned ones. I’ve been teaching worship guitar lessons online now for a decade, so I wanted to offer something with a different angle that will help worship leaders with their week-to-week.
I’ve been leading worship since the mid nineties, and although I worked with a lot of great people, I didn’t get specific worship training that would have been so beneficial to me when I was starting. In particular, when I started full time into worship ministry, I remember feeling a little lost on how I would spend my whole week. I had spent over 10 years leading worship for various ministries, so what in the world would I do with all of my time?
When you plant both feet into a church as a worship leader, you inherit it’s culture, it’s congregation, it’s volunteers, and its processes. So, I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but in the process, I was able to develop some strategies that could apply to any worship ministry. So, here’s a quick overview of what I hope will be a online worship training course that helps out churches and ministries around the world!
The first part of the Worship Leadership Masterclass is based around creating processes that will save time during the week and get everyone on board with the same goals. For instance, there is a something called the “Plan Ahead Chart” which is how I stay several weeks ahead in choosing the service flow for Sunday. There are templates for planning out sermon series, leading creative bluesy meetings, meeting with your Lead Pastor, and evaluating services and events.
We all know that we don’t do it all alone. We need our volunteers to carry the ministry forward. In this section, I cover how to recruit volunteers, how to say “yes” “no” or “wait” to potential volunteers, host to assimilate them into your ministry, and finally, how to build a keep a strong volunteer culture. I cover how to run a great rehearsal, and how to build unity within your team using pre-service huddles. Volunteers are at the core of your ministry, and if there is disfunction brewing, it can really hurt the ministry and church. Volunteers are people, and there are great ways to build these people up, encourage them, and equip them.
The people you lead need leadership. In this section of the course, I cover a few things that will help the flow of your service. For instance, there are some great methods of categorizing your songs into categories, so you can choose what you need within a flow. The flow of a service is one key way to lead your congregation, and when you get this right, people walk away impacted by more than just your words. Everything connects, from the energy in the room, to the song lyrics, to the verbal transitions, to the message, to the response. Flow is a secret weapon of a great service and is something worship leaders often breeze by. I also cover how to craft great verbal transitions. Many worship leaders are introverted, and transitions don’t come naturally. I cover 3 ways to seamless bridge from one songs to the next. Finally, we all know that stage presence is a “hot topic.” There are a few things to consider in encouraging your team toward great stage presense that’s appropriate and not distracting.
Most “professional worship bands” and certainly most Nashville studio musicians use a system called the Nashville Number System. There is the “system” part, which involved a unique short-hand way to chart using special symbols, and there is the “numbers” part which involves some basic chord theory. The system part is actually more important, since it can help you communicate better with musicians and save time during rehearsals. For instance, if you say “play a diamond” then your musicians will know to play a whole note (one big strum for that measure). There are many other symbols you can use as well which make things so much more clear. The numbers part is great in understanding how chords work together. The application of knowing numbers well is that you can transpose songs easily, you can use a capo without needing a new chart, and your song writing will get better since you’ll have a better understanding how how chords work generally. There is a reason professional musicians use it every day! I include this Nashville Number Course as a bonus with the Worship Leadership Masterclass.
My hope is that this is a tool that will really benefit not only worship leaders, but congregations. The better we lead, the better people are led. The better they are led, the more they will worship together. That’s the ultimate goal!
You can check out the course here: Worship Leadership Masterclass Course
And you can check out the new website here: Worship Leader Training